Thursday, December 30, 2010

One Precious Pearl – Robert Lloyd Russell

© 2010 Infinity Publishing, West Conshohocken, PA

Every so often an author or publisher will stumble across this review blog and read one. Having done so, they might contact me to see if I’d be willing to review their book. If it sounds like something of interest to me, I’ll bite. That’s what happened a little over one month ago. And the result was a pleasant Bible study on a little addressed parable. Robert Russell is a Bible teacher and management consultant who takes his study of the Scriptures seriously. He has written other articles and books including a previous volume in this study series, and has edited a collection of the words of Missionary/Martyr Jim Elliot.

One Precious Pearl: God’s Design for His Church studies the parable known as the Pearl of Great Price found in Matthew 13. The author acknowledges that this particular parable has often been neglected in favor of other parables surrounding it, but insists that this simple parable is one that holds an ocean of wisdom for the church. Dividing the study into two sections, Russell presents background to the parables of Matthew 13, and then draws some lessons from the Pearl of Great Value.

One conclusion that is not necessarily part of the main-stream of thought, but bears credence since this is a lesser-dealt-with parable, is the idea that the Pearl is a reference to the Church (rather than the popular Kingdom; or the less than likely Salvation). In part II of the book, Russell compares the Church to a valuable pearl at length, and brings a new light—might I say, a new luster—to the images Jesus is presenting.

The chapters are kept short (between two to five pages in length) for easy access to the material. Even slow readers like Yours Truly can finish the entire book in a relatively short time. Such arrangement of the chapters makes the book ideal for devotional reading or for personal or small group study. The ideal audience for this book (and its companions in the Christian Concepts Series, one would assume) are Bible teachers, preachers, and students of the Scripture who are interested in learning more about specific passages. This book will find a worthy spot among my study materials and I’ll have another excellent resource the next time I’m preparing a study or sermon from Matthew 13. And you can, too. (four out of five reading glasses)

—Benjamin Potter, December 30, 2010

[Disclaimer: This book has been provided to the reviewer, free of charge, for the purpose of review. All opinions about the work are the reviewer's.]

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